Senior guard Kevin Miller erupted for 29 points in leading Honesdale to a lopsided win over North Pocono
Kevin Miller conjured up a magical performance in his final home game as a member of Honesdale's boys varsity basketball team.
The senior point guard scored in just about every way imaginable while leading his Hornets to a lopsided win over North Pocono Wednesday night at the Red Palace.
"Kevin Miller is one of the elite players in northeastern Pennsylvania and I don't think you'd find anyone to contradict that statement," Coach Tim Wood said.
"He saves his best for big moments and the first game of the district playoffs certainly qualifies."
Miller erupted for 29 points in this one, eliminating North Pocono from the Class AAA title chase via a 75-48 decision.
With this win, the Hornets advance to the tournament quarterfinals where a chance at redemption awaits in the form of a re-match with Scranton Prep.
Back on January 31, Honesdale took one on the chin at the Xavier Center, suffering a 20-point loss at the hands of the Cavaliers. To make matters worse, the game was televised on Blue Ridge Cable.
"There really aren't many second chances in life and when you get one you have to take advantage of it," Coach Wood said. "I'm certainly not foolish enough to predict a win, but I will guarantee you this: We're going to leave it all on the court."
Weather permitting, Honesdale and Prep will do battle once again Friday evening at 7 p.m., venue to be announced.
Early & Often
The Hornets wasted no time cranking up its high octane offense against North Pocono.
Miller led the charge, draining a deep trey and scoring nine points in the first quarter. Brody Dial did his best to keep the Trojans close. A lightning-quick junior guard, Dial hit an early trey and added an acrobatic lay-up in transition.
He would closed out the night with a team-best 23 points.
While Dial was busy on the perimeter, Alex Carling patrolled the low post. A 6' 6" senior center, Carling finished up his Lackawanna League campaign as one of the top scorers and rebounders in Division II.
Sadly, Carling's game was cut short due to a knee injury.
"You hate to see anyone get hurt like that, but it was really tough seeing it happen to Alex," North Pocono coach Pat Shields said.
"He's a terrific basketball player and a great kid. It was a big loss for us, but I'm just hoping he's okay and makes a quick recovery."
Carling's injury signaled the end of any realistic hopes Trojan fans had of an upset. Honesdale led by five points after one and extended that advantage to double digits by intermission.
It's a commonly held belief that the first three minutes of the second half can set the stage for the rest of a game.
"I told the kids at halftime that we couldn't let them hang around," Coach Wood said. "Pat Shields is a very good coach and the longer they stayed close, the more dangerous it would be."
The Hornets took their mentor at his word and came out with both guns blazing. Ian Langendoerfer caught fire after the break, rattling the rims for 11 of his 25 points in the third quarter.
"Ian really started taking the ball hard to the basket in the second half," Coach Wood said. "Ian is a tough match-up defensively. He's big and tall, but he's also very athletic. He can run the floor and also step out to shoot the jumper."
Cole McConnell ruled the paint with an iron fist once again. With Carling on the bench, Honesdale's senior center hauled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Kyle Carney contributed key plays as well.
A multi-sport standout who also excels on the gridiron, Carney tickled the twine for 13 points, but also snagged three steals and pulled in six rebounds.
"Kyle is getting better with each passing day," Coach Wood said. "It's great to see him elevating his game at the perfect time."
While each of these cagers played an integral role in Wednesday's victory, it was Miller who led the charge.
Kevin tallied five field goals, drained five treys and went 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. By the time he walked off the court for the final time ... to a rousing ovation from the Red Palace faithful ... Honesdale's lead had ballooned to 30 points.
"He played a complete game tonight," Coach Wood said. "Not only did he score 29 points, but he also had a couple assists, five rebounds and two steals. Kevin does it all out there."
Nick Casazza contributed four points to the Hornets' cause, while Pat Hart and McConnell chipped in with two apiece.
Score by Quarters...
HON (20-3) 16 21 26 12 - 75
NP (6-17) 11 16 8 13 - 48